Day One of Star Trek Las Vegas was dominated by four straight hours of Star Trek: Discovery, as a quartet of panels – featuring actors, writers, producers, creature designers, editors, authors and comic book writers – immersed fans in the world of the upcoming Trek adventure. Check out 10 Things We Learned About Discovery at Star Trek Las Vegas.
Fans, during the actor panel, were treated to the reveal of Kol. Mitchell then discussed bringing the character to life and working within the confines of the heavy costume. And, in another major reveal, he said that Kol is part of the House of Kor and that each of the 24 houses will have its own style, ideology, etc.
Shenzhou Bridge Placement
Serious Trek fans loved it when Sam Varthomoleos, who plays Ensign Connor revealed that the Shenzhou’s bridge is located on the bottom of the ship’s saucer.
Klingons Speaking Klingon
Mary Chieffo and Kenneth Mitchell, who play the Klingons L’Rell and Kol, are super-serious about learning the Klingon language. The two actors noted that they work closely with Robyn Stewart, the show’s Klingon expert, and Rea Nolan, the show's linguist, to fully learn the language. They practice dialogue during the three hours in their makeup chairs. The goal is not only to speak it perfectly, but to read – and understand every word – of the Klingon in their scripts.
Creature designer Neville Page told the audience that Bryan Fuller, in their earliest discussions about Discovery, wanted the new show’s Klingons to be bald. Page helped develop the look from there first crafting a realistic Klingon skull and developing practical evolutionary elements of their anatomy from that starting point.
Across the Board Integration
Discovery will mark the first time in Trek history that a show has its storyline fully integrated with its complementary elements, including novels and comics. Kirsten Beyer, one of the show’s writers, will oversee integration, serving as the “liaison” between the Discovery writing staff, authors and comic book writers and artists. Under this system, the outside authors and artists are aware of the show storyline and Discovery writers are likewise aware of what is happening in book and comic storylines.
David Mack revealed that Desperate Hours, the first Discovery novel, will be released on September 26th and he gave fans a first look at the cover. Jordan Hoffman, who moderated the panel, then provided a dramatic reading of a synopsis of the book’s story. And here’s that synopsis:
Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.
She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea.
As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life—until now.
Mack then went on to announce that Desperate Hours is set one year before the events of Discovery’s first episode, which would be 2255. Fans also learned that there will be a second Discovery novel, to be written by New York Times Best Selling Author Dayton Ward, will be set about 10 years before Discovery. And on the comic book front, IDW revealed the cover of the first Discovery comic book, written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson. The debut mini-series features the story of T’Kuvma and the Klingons under his command.
An Ongoing Journey
Discovery executive producer Akiva Goldsman put Discovery in perspective for fans when he explained that the show’s characters are on a journey, just like a ship, and that where they start and where they finish will be very different. “The show’s name is not an accident,” he said in referencing the voyage of discovery each character will be on.